Book Review: Big Frog Can't Fit In

Bless the literalism that is the picture book world. Mo Willems’ new pop-up book is called Big Frog Can’t Fit In, so, of course, it’s about a frog who doesn’t fit into the book. The very large frog’s gawky limbs extend and protrude from every page.

The art is Mo Willems classic, with rough-looking drawings that depict a frog in as few lines and shapes as possible, and the pop-ups (called pop-outs here) spring up delightfully from the page. But the humor we’ve come to expect from the author of books like Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus and Knuffle Bunny is strangely absent.

From the ault perspective, clever pop-ups don’t make up for uninspired text. Although my kids are still happy to turn and, of course, destroy the pages, I was disappointed. Mo Willems is usually a keeper for both the reader and read-to, but with no story and no conversational asides, Big Frog Can’t Fit In is, I’m very sorry to say, no fun.

KJ Dell'Antonia

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